Dietary salt intake in the Australian population

Joseph Alvin Santos, Jacqui Webster, Mary Anne Land, Victoria Flood, John Chalmers, Mark Woodward, Bruce Neal, Kristina S. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective To update the estimate of mean salt intake for the Australian population made by the Australian Health Survey (AHS). Design A secondary analysis of the data collected in a cross-sectional survey was conducted. Estimates of salt intake were made in Lithgow using the 24 h diet recall methodology employed by the AHS as well as using 24 h urine collections. The data from the Lithgow sample were age- A nd sex-weighted, to provide estimates of daily salt intake for the Australian population based upon (i) the diet recall data and (ii) the 24 h urine samples. Setting Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. Subjects Individuals aged ≥20 years residing in Lithgow and listed on the 2009 federal electoral roll. Results Mean (95 % CI) salt intake estimated from the 24 h diet recalls was 6·4 (6·2, 6·7) g/d for the Lithgow population compared with a corresponding figure of 6·2 g/d for the Australian population derived from the AHS. The corresponding estimate of salt intake for Lithgow adults based upon the 24 h urine collections was 9·0 (8·6, 9·4) g/d. When the age- A nd sex-specific estimates of salt intake obtained from the 24 h urine collections in the Lithgow sample were weighted using Australian census data, estimated salt intake for the Australian population was 9·0 (8·6, 9·5) g/d. Further adjustment for non-urinary Na excretion made the best estimate of daily salt intake for both Lithgow and Australia about 9·9 g/d. Conclusions The dietary recall method used by the AHS likely substantially underestimated mean population salt consumption in Australia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1887-1894
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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